Make the most of each fundraising opportunity by offering recurring donation options to perspective donors on your website.

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Trying to raise money online for your organization, church or group can be difficult without the correct “web-tools” in place help you capitalize on each fundraising opportunity. If you’re like most organizations, you invest a lot of time and maybe even a little money trying to create awareness about your fundraising efforts and causes on a regular basis.

It’s not easy to get others to give in general, and it can be especially hard online, even for the most worthy causes. The people that you do eventually connect with make small donations and leave, never to be seen or heard from again! Sound familiar? Or maybe you’ve got one-time donations options already setup on your website and you’re researching new donation channels for your organization? Or perhaps you’re just trying to to establish some level of predictability for your fundraising to help budget for the future?

Whatever your reason might be for discovering this blog post, we’re glad you did because setting up flexible recurring donations can make a BIG impact on fundraising. Adding a simple recurring donation widget to your website will allow visitors to give whatever they can afford AND select the frequency they wish to give (that last part being the key).

People often CAN afford to give “a little” every so often but will inevitably forget in today’s overly stimulating world in which we all live. However, by simply offering website visitors the option of giving on a regular basis you can gain so much more from each interaction. Collecting donations in a typical online payment scenario limits your opportunity to a single donation or interaction but in a post-recurring payment world, each interaction with a perspective donor has infinite opportunity.

That’s the beauty of implementing recurring options for your online visitors, it maximizes the opportunity of each interaction because people can subscribe and donate automatically, on a set schedule they choose. You can let people select the amount they wish to donate and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly yearly or a custom schedule) and the system will automatically collect the donations using their stored payment method on file (credit, debit, ACH, PayPal, etc).

We figured we would show you how to offer recurring donations on the BigCommerce eCommerce platform specifically in a short tutorial below… You’ll need the PayWhirl app for BigCommerce to get started.

How to setup recurring donations on BigCommerce in a few simple steps!

In this example we’re going to setup recurring donation widget that allows your customers to input any amount they wish for their donation (aka a flexible payment form) and then we will forward customers to a pricing table widget so they can select their desired frequency.

First, we need to create PLANS in PayWhirl for each frequency you would like your customer to be able to select (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or on specific dates). The plans will all cost $0 because we just want them to set the frequency of our subscription as we will forward people to another widget where they can input the amount they would like to donate.

Let’s setup three frequency options for visitors to choose from:

Weekly – Plan should bill $0 every week and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Monthly – Plan should bill $0 every month and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Yearly – Plan should bill $0 every year and we’ll use no limit for the number of installments so it continues indefinitely.

Once you have your plans setup we can move along to setup our “build-a-donation” checkout funnel. We will create two widgets to accomplish this:

Widget #1 – Pricing Table includes all three of your plans (frequency options) as sections in the widget.

Widget #2 – Payment Form with “flexible” selected for the type

After both widgets have been created, you can chain them together to create your funnel using the “Forward to Widget” setting in the first widget to forward to the second. You’ll also want to make sure the clear cart on reload setting is set to NO in your pricing table widget (#2).

The last step is to copy & paste the embed code from your FIRST widget with 3 plans into a page on bigcommerce so visitors on your website can start donating on a recurring basis, automatically!

For more information please refer to our support doc on how to setup recurring donations. If you have any questions about recurring donations or implementing recurring payments for your business, church or organization please feel free to reach out to our support team.

Finally, we have a blog post with some sample thank you letters for donors here.